Aug 132014


(NCS writer Andy Synn attended part of the Bloodstock Festival in England last weekend and files this report, with his own photos.)

For various reasons I was only able to make it to the one day of Bloodstock Festival this year. Thankfully that one day happened to be headlined by the legendary Emperor, so I’m not massively complaining!

Due to some issues getting my new laptop (it’s lovely and shiny and I’m writing this column on it right now), I ended up running a little late that morning and so, after picking up my two companions, got to the festival site a little later than planned. As a result I missed out on both The King Is Blind and Shining (Nor), but was there in time to see Old Corpse Road bring their eloquent mix of dark folklore and blackened intensity to the Sophie Stage. Continue reading »

Feb 042014

I’m in catch-up mode for new things. This is the second round-up of news and new music for today, and there will probably be a third. The first one is here. The following collection should keep you off-balance.


Yes, it appears that the band have decided to join the two words of their name into one, but a rose by any other name will smell just as sweet. Or, in this case, will sound just as sweet. I saw this announcement on the band’s Facebook page this morning:

“We have completed the recordings of our upcoming full length album. The album will consists of 10 songs that were recorded once again at Devasoundz Studios Athens Greece and at Prague with the collaboration of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. The album will be released this summer via Season of Mist for Europe and via Prosthetic Records for America.

“We are really exhausted, but also very proud from the result. We worked very hard with Logan Mader (former MACHINE HEAD and SOULFLY guitarist that has worked considering album sound, with bands as CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, FEAR FACTORY, GOJIRA) to bring you the ultimate death metal soundtrack for your darkest dreams. The compositions are progressive with a lot of emotional peaks, while at the same time the songs sound very aggressive. Also we had the chance to work for the first time with a full children choir, beside the regular adult choir, and that helped us dive deeper into darker cinematic atmospheres.”

Continue reading »

Jan 172014

This will be my last post for today because my fucking day job is taking me out of town and I’ll be disconnected from the almighty inter hole for the next 7 or 8 hours.  That means no new installment of the “Most Infectious Song” list until tomorrow.  However, I did have time to pull together three new things I saw and heard last night — which I obviously think you need to see an dear, too.


I received this message from my comrade DGR:

Ontogeny are going again, which is cool. They’re a San Francisco based Tech-death band that includes members of the group Anomalous. They have a new disc coming called Hymns Of Ahriman. It’s been three years since the last one. These guys write epic death metal songs that become whirlwinds at the drop of a hat, and Ontogeny have a tendency to just go straight into grind right in the middle of a song.

“I guess they couldn’t wait to have a fully produced song out so they just posted the pre-pro demo of the song “Phantom Love”. It’s 8:30 of just sheer madness. They put it up on the 10th of last week and it seems no one picked up on it.” Continue reading »

Jun 292012

As explained in Part 1 of this feature, I mean no disrespect to any of the bands mentioned herein when I refer to them as riff-raff. I guess I’ve been called a motherfucker so many times by bands during live shows that I’ve become convinced we’re all riff-raff, and surely that’s how the straight world looks at all of us, so why the hell not? Plus, there’s the appeal of alliteration.

This post is a continuation of my earlier report on news, music, and videos I saw over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth sharing. Even after dividing this into two parts, there’s still a shitload of stuff left to pass along. So I will try to be brief with my verbiage (yeah, like that will happen). In this post: Reports of new Season of Mist albums from Rage Nucleaire (featuring Cryptopsy’s Lord Worm) and Khonsu (featuring the Grønbech brothers and Thebon from Keep of Kalessin); Jucifer’s new Bandcamp page; new music videos from Profane Omen and Whitechapel; new songs from A Band of Orcs and Dysrhythmia; and for Mike Patton fans in the audience, a blurb about the revival of Tomahawk.


I just saw this, but three days ago Season of Mist announced the signing of a four-piece black metal band called Rage Nucleaire. It got my attention because the band was formed by Lord Worm, former vocalist of Cryptopsy. The band are working on a debut album called Unrelenting Fucking Hatred and they describe the music as a “hate-filled blend of melodic black metal and violent industrial.” Their list of influences range from early Emperor and Immortal to Anaal Nathrakh and Mysticum. The other members are bassist Alvater (ex-Frozen Shadows), guitarist/keyboardist Dark Rage, and drummer Fredrik Widigs.

The band have a new Facebook page here, which will allow me and you to sniff around for more info as it emerges. At the moment, although I’m hungry for some music by this group, I have none to share, nor do I have a release date yet. Continue reading »

Dec 142011

(One of the best things about operating NCS is the chance to make connections with metal-lovers from around the world. Because of our frequent focus on Finnish metal, I’ve made a connection with “fireangel“, one of the two creators of a very informative and entertaining Finland-based blog called Night Elves. I invited fireangel to write a post for our year-end Listmania, and here it is.)

Islander kindly invited me to share my favourites of 2011, knowing full well that my taste oscillates between “No Clean Singing“ and more often its mirror image, “No! Clean Singing!”, as it was so nicely put in the 2-Year-Anniversary-post, and that my suggestions would make a better fit with “Exceptions To The Rule” than the NCS Rule itself. Nevertheless, he thought he could live with that, so maybe you can, too. Even though this post is written by one person, it includes the musical favourites of both Night Elves.

I selected some songs that work as my personal pick-me-up for plenty of situations – feeling tired, sleepless, moody, etc – and can convert me into a decent citizen, at least for a limited time.

In order to test the boundaries even more, this post also includes songs that are not necessarily from 2011, but I listened to them on quite heavy rotation in this year. Continue reading »

Oct 042011

Got a tip this morning from our favorite Finnish Night Elf, Fireangel. She advised that a Finnish band called Profane Omen had just released a new music video for a song called “Wastehead”. With a song title like that, I figured it was a tailor-made theme song for moi. So I watched the video. It opens with a hella good scream. Made me think about the fact that lots of metal songs start with screams, or roars — just a good ol’ vocal eruption, like the singer is trying to turn his body inside out. I can’t immediately think of any other genre of music where that happens. So fuckin cool.

After the vocal Vesuivus, Profane Omen proceeds to just rock the fuck out. As Fireangel correctly pointed out, the music is both melodic and intense, with a mix of harsh screaming and clean vocals. It’s a blistering slice of thrash ‘n’ roll with a catchy chorus, and it’s from Finland, which means even if you don’t love it, you will respect it. Also, it’s from Finland.

“Wastehead” appears on the band’s third full-length album, Destroy!, which was released by Spinefarm Records in Finland last week and will be issued in the rest of Europe and in North America . . . someday. Catch the “Wastehead” video (and one more older video) after the jump. As I watched the chick in this vid, I was thinking she looked like she’d just read one of Phro’s reviews. Continue reading »